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sign on Irishman convicted of trying to entice a child for indecent purposes in US is granted bail


Martin Jude Wall

Martin Jude Wall

Martin Jude Wall

An Irish man wanted in the United States, where he was convicted of attempting to entice a child for indecent purposes after a police sting, was granted bail by the High Court today.

Martin Jude Wall (45) is wanted by the Chatham County Sheriff's office in Georgia after he allegedly breached the conditions of his release by fleeing to Ireland.

If found guilty of the breach in America, Wall faces a possible 15 years imprisonment, which is the length of his probation.

In February 2012, Wall pleaded guilty, through plea-bargain, to attempting to entice a child for indecent purposes after he sent a nude photo of himself from his phone through a chat-group to what he believed was a 13-year-old girl.

However, the 2011 online profile of the girl was false and was constructed by detectives in Savannah.

After sending the photo, Wall suggested that he and the girl should meet and detectives arrested Wall at the location.

Detectives confirmed Wall's identity from the photo and his mobile phone was still logged into the group chat.

As part of his sentence, he was detained for a period of not more than a year and not less than 240 days before being given a 15-year probation bond upon his release.

However, he left the jurisdiction in 2014 and returned to Ireland.

US authorities confirmed in October 2019 that Wall, who is on the US list of registered sex offenders, was living in Crossmolina, Co Mayo.

His US arrest warrant was executed in November 2019 with the outstanding amount left on his probation standing at 12 years and six months.

Gardaí attached to the Garda National Bureau of Criminal Investigation (GNBCI) arrested Wall on December 8 of this year.

Today in the High Court, Detective Garda Robert Comerford objected to bail and told Ms Elva Duffy BL, for the Minister for Justice, that Wall was homeless for a year in the US and was living in a tent there without work due to his conviction.

Det Gda Comerford said that by 2015, Wall was back in Ireland but had attended a garda station to discuss his situation with gardaí in Mayo.

The witness told Ms Duffy that Wall had been living openly in Ireland and had not come to any adverse attention.

Det Gda Comerford said his concern was that Wall was a flight risk since he had agreed to abide by the parole conditions in America but still absconded.

Mr Remy Farrell SC, for Wall, said that his client had been living in Crossmolina for some time and that the conviction was a Georgia state matter, not a federal offence.

Det Gda Comerford agreed with Mr Farrell that Wall's homelessness was connected to the conviction, which was a "grave" one with more significant consequences in America than in Ireland.

Det Gda Comerford told Mr Farrell that Wall had told him that he was "quite adamant that he [Wall] would not go back", which the witness believed to be a reference to suicide. .

Mr Justice Paul Burns said that Wall was "determined not to make himself amenable", noted Wall's risk of self-harm and said that he was an "undoubted flight risk".

However, Mr Justice Burns said that he would "reluctantly" grant bail in the matter but under strict conditions.

Two independent cash sureties of €5,000 each from family members and a €1,000 cash bond from Wall were accepted by the court.

Wall is to reside at an address in Clontarf in Dublin, obey a curfew, surrender his passport, be of good behaviour and sign on daily at a garda station.

Wall appeared by video-link at the High Court and was remanded in custody with consent to bail by Mr Justice Burns, who fixed an extradition hearing date of January 20, 2021.

Detective Superintendent Michael Mullen of the Garda Extradition Unit said at the time of the arrest: "This significant arrest coordinated by detectives attached to Organised and Serious Crime in partnership with USA authorities represents our ongoing commitment to ensuring persons wanted on foot of International arrest warrants are brought to justice."

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Online Editors